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United States v. Fuller

409 U.S. 488 (1973)

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United States v. Fuller

United States Supreme Court

409 U.S. 488 (1973)

Facts

Fuller (defendant) operated a large cattle ranch in Arizona. Fuller owned 1,280 acres of the ranchland in fee simple (fee land). The remaining 43,488 acres lay on state and federal land. Fuller used the federal land with a permit issued under the Taylor Grazing Act. Permits issued under the Taylor Grazing Act can be revoked by the government at any time, and do not create any interest or estate in the lands. The United States (plaintiff) condemned 920 acres of Fuller’s fee land. Fuller challenged the United States’ determination of just compensation for the fee land, and the matter went to a jury. The parties disagreed on the method of valuation: Fuller claimed that the jury could consider the additional value of the fee land that resulted from its potential to be used together with the Taylor Grazing Act permit land, while the United States claimed that it could not. The trial court agreed with Fuller, and the jury considered the additional value in determining the amount of just compensation. The United States appealed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment. The United States then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

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